In anticipation of our “Yellow” theme, I took a picture of the Minion t-shirts that I was sending off to my grandsons for “Talk Like a Pirate” day. A minion is a follower of a powerful person. In the Minion movies, they seek to serve the most supreme villain that they can find, but over the centuries, their masters always seem to fail. It’s no surprise that the character has been suited up in pirate attire. Pirates are not harmless – but talking like one is. The point of Talk Like A Pirate Day is silliness.
You may ask, how did International Talk Like A Pirate Day come to be? Actually two friends, John Baur and Mark Sommers, in Oregon were playing a lively game of racquetball when one of them got hurt and yelled out “Arrr.” They began trading insults and encouragements with “pirate lingo.” One thing led to another and they settled on September 19 as their official Talk Like A Pirate Day. They picked one of their ex’s birthdate so that they would remember the date. It was an inside joke for about 7 years until they shared it with syndicated humor writer David Barry. Barry promoted the idea in his column and growing media attention after that ensured that the holiday has now gone viral and is celebrated internationally.
Get into the spirit of International Talk Like A Pirate Day on September 19th and try to slip into conversation some of these typical pirate phrases. Add a growl and lots of gestures.
Aaaarrrrgggghhhh! – exhortation of discontent or disgust
Ahoy! – Hello!
Ahoy, Matey – Hello, my friend!
Ahoy, me Hearties! – the same as saying “Hello, my friends!”
All hand hoay! – comparable to all hands on deck
Avast ye – stop and check this out or pay attention
Aye – yes
Batten down the hatches – put everything away on the ship and tie everything down because a storm is brewing
Beauty – a lovely lady
Blimey! – exhortation of surprise
Blow me down! – expression of shock of disbelief akin to “Holy Crap!”
Blow the man down – command to kill someone
Booty – treasure
Buccaneer or Bucko – a pirate
Cat O’Nine Tails – a whip with nine strands
Cleave him to the brisket – to cut across the chest, from one shoulder to the lower abdomen
Corsair – pirates in the Mediterranean Sea
Crow’s nest – small platform atop the mast where the lookout stands
Cutlass – short heavy curved bladed sword used by pirates
Davy Jones’ Locker – fabled, mythical place at the bottom of the ocean where the evil spirit of Davy Jones brings sailor and pirates to die
Dead men tell no tales – leave no witnesses
Doubloons – other coins or found in pirate hoards and stashes
Feed the fish – will soon die
Grog – Booze (usually Rum)
Head – the pirate ship’s toilet
Heave Ho – give it some muscle and put some effort into it
Hornswaggle – to defraud or cheat out of money or belongings
Jacob’s Ladder – the rope ladder one uses to climb aboard a sloop
Jolly Roger – pirate’s flag including white skull and crossbones over a black field
Lad, lass, lassie – a younger person
Landlubber – big, slow clumsy person who doesn’t know how to sail
Man-O-War – pirate’s ship outfitted for battle
Me – my
Old Salt – a long-time sailor
Pieces of eight – coins or found in pirate stashes
Pillage – to plunder
Poop deck – the part of the ship farthest to the back, which is usually above the captain’s quarters. This is not the bathroom.
Privateer – government-sponsored pirates
Rum – pirate’s traditional alcoholic beverage
Run a shot across the bow – warning shot to another vessel’s captain
Savvy? – do you catch my drift?
Scallywag – mild insult akin to rapscallion or rogue
Scurvy dog – the pirate is talking directly to you with mild insult
Scuttle – to sink a ship
Seadog – old pirate or sailor
Shark bait – will soon join Davy Jones’ Locker
Shipshape – cleaned up and under control
Shiver me timbers! – comparable to “Holy Crap!”
Son of a Biscuit Eater – insult directed towards someone you don’t like
Thar she blows! – Whale sighting
Three sheets to the wind – someone who is very drunk. One sheet is mildly drunk and four sheets is passed out.
Walk the plank – punishment in which person walks off a board jutting over the side of the ship while at sea. The consequence is drowning and a visit to Davy Jones’ Locker.
Weigh anchor and hoist the mizzen! – pull up the anchor and the sail and let’s get going
Ye – you
Yo Ho Ho – cheerful exhortation to demand attention